Monday, February 4, 2008

Does Baseball Need it's Good Ole Boys?

Baseball has a way of shuffling players out the door and escorting players in the door who have a way of producing similar numbers while having the same or similar effects on the powers that be in the game of baseball.

David Arthur Kingman played for the Oakland Athletics in 1984, 1985 and 1986.

Jose (Capas) Canseco started his major league career for the Oakland Athletics in 1985.

Kingman: AB-6677 R-901 H-1575 @B-240 3B-25 HR-442 RBI-1210 AVG.-.236 BB-608
K's: 1816 SB-85

Canseco: AB-7057 R-1186 H-1877 2B-340 3B-14 HR-462 RBI- 1407 AVG. .266 BB-906
K's: 1942 SB- 200

Both of these players was known for hitting home runs while striking out often. Both were kind of showed the door prematurely in their careers, because they didn't really belong to the good ole boy fraternity.

Compare the lifetime statistics of David Arthur King-Kong-man and Jose Canseco. Jose has better numbers but then again he was the first ballplayer to hit 40-homers and steal 40-bases during the same season (1988).

Kong led the league in home runs in 1979 (48) and 1982 (37). He also had a league leading slugging percentage in 1979 of .613.

The tie between these two players comes in 1986, Kingman's last season in major league baseball and Jose's breakthrough season. During that year these were Kingman's numbers:
G-144 AB-561 R-70 H-118 2B-19 HR-35 RBI-94 and Batting Avg.- .210.

Jose Canseco's power numbers during this breakout season were 33-HR 117-RBI .240-BA.

Jose and Kong were both accused of missing games when they weren't determined to be injured by those within the media. But what the public may not know is that in Jose's case it was done knowingly by the Oakland Athletics organization so he would not reach the productivity numbers that would pay him bonus money. I had heard such things happened so it is very possible the same thing happened to Kingman.

If you look at Kingman's final season in the majors you have to wonder why nobody was interested in his ability to hit the long ball. After the 1986 season it's likely the same organization that chose to list Jose Canseco as injured (later in his career) so it wouldn't have to pay him incentive-achieved-dollars decided to pay Jose the lesser amount rather than bring back Kong who was probably, at that point in their careers, the more expensive player.

It's all a part of the good ole boy network that runs major league baseball.

Chris Ballard contributed an article to Sports Illustrated in the Point After column, entitled, "A Changeup for Bud's Boys."

(The article begins) Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has this crazy idea: he wants to buy the Chicago Cubs along with Wrigley Field and a piece of a sports channel, possibly by Opening Day. Baseball's old-boy network isn't jazzed about the notion, but I am. Here's why...

Because Cuban would make Wrigley even fan-friendlier. He hinted he would consider selling sponsorship for parts of the upper deck, then give away tickets to the seats. Can free beer for the bleachers be far behind?

Because I'm serious about the free beer (ME TOO!). Really. Please make it Old Style (asks Mr. Ballard).

Because Cuban is neither Bud's boy nor a baseball establishment man no one at this table ordered More of the Same.

Because Bill O'Reilly hates Cuban, and I consider that an endorsement.

Because at American Airlines Center you can score a foot-tall Cuban doll that blurts out ref-berating catch phrases such as "C'mon Dick, that's a horse-BLEEP call!" perhaps he can do the same to the attitudes in need of adjustment, a.k.a. umpires. (My suggestion not Mr. Ballard's.)

Thank you, Chris Ballard.

Kevin Marquez